With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on the holiday season, making it more difficult than ever to spend time with family and really enjoy the holidays and all of our favorite traditions. Christmas is around the corner, so you might be looking for creative, safe ways to get together with loved ones.
Of course, not everyone will be adhering to social distancing guidelines. Maybe your family all work from home, or maybe you’ve all discussed the risks and are willing to take whatever precautions to be together for the holidays. Whatever you choose, just try to do it safely, and be respectful of those who have differing views.
If you’ve chosen to keep your immediate family distanced from any extended family, there are still plenty of ways to make the most of the season. We put together this list of fun alternatives to enjoy the festivities despite the lockdowns and social distancing precautions.
Enjoy Traditions you Can Still Safely Do
Instead of focusing on everything you can’t do this season, think about all the things you normally do, and do them anyway. Even if your dearest family members can’t be there to participate, keeping traditions alive will make this holiday season feel just as real as every other year.
Don’t skimp on decorations. In fact, go all out this year to really spread some holiday cheer. Even if you can’t share it with the whole crew, you’ll be happier having it around you.
If you have traditional meals you or a family member always make, indulge anyway. If it’s your grandmother’s recipe, this is a perfect time to try your hand replicating it.
Send Christmas cards. If that’s something you’ve never done before, this is the best time to start. Plus, since everyone is missing their families this year, they’d certainly appreciate pictures of the ones they’re missing.
No matter what, don’t let the things you’ll be missing out on get you down. Focus on the positive, and make the most out of it!
Enjoy Local Festivities Inspired by the Pandemic
We’re all in this together, and communities everywhere have rallied to create safe alternatives to some our favorite seasonal events and traditions.
Driving through town and looking at Christmas lights is a classic for families every year, and it’s a well-suited tradition for 2020. If you have kids that still want to visit with Santa, look for virtual alternatives, like JingleRing.
Christmas caroling, tree lighting, and other holiday events can be done with safe, social distancing measures as well. If you do choose to participate in any in-person events, be sure to take all precautions, like keeping 6-feet apart, wearing a mask, and washing your hands frequently.
For safe and festive shopping, check out one of the many outdoor or virtual markets throughout Denver this year.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
We’re all used to video conferencing technology by now, and if you aren’t, this holiday season is the perfect time to try it out.
Grandparents can watch kids open gifts on Zoom; families can even enjoy a holiday feast together with the help of video calling; and families can feel together without actually being together. Seeing family is the most important part of any holiday celebration, so utilizing the tools and technology we have available will allow us all to make the most out of a nontraditional year.
Board games can be played over Zoom as well. Just order a copy of the game for each party that’ll be on the Zoom call, and enjoy a virtual board game night. Of course, this makes it hard to keep an eye on any sneaky cheaters in your family, but it can still be a fun time.
Bake Your Heart Out
Sweet treats are the second most important part of the holidays, right? You have to have an assortment to munch on all month long. Whenever you’re feeling down, bake up some holiday cheer in the form of sugar cookies, holiday cake pops, or pies.
And you can get your whole family involved too! (This would be another fun Zoom opportunity to include the grandparents or other extended family members in the fun.) Decorating cookies is a great holiday tradition. Making gingerbread houses can give you a supercharged dose of festivities, because nothing screams “Christmas” like decorating a gingerbread house.
Be Sure to Set Guidelines
Possibly one of the most challenging parts of this new holiday normal will be defining guidelines with family members. Not everyone may think it’s necessary to stay distant this year. Or older family members might be hurt that you’re unwilling to spend the holidays with them.
Make sure you’re having these conversations early and often. It’s important that everyone is on the same page. If you’re the only one uncomfortable with gathering, ask to be a part of the festivities through Zoom. And if you’ve got a family member who just doesn’t want to be away, have a conversation about risks and safe ways to be together.
All that matters is that you’re open and honest with each other, so everyone can find a way forward.
Look for Any Opportunity to Celebrate
We know that it’s going to be a tough year, no matter what. And that’s why it’s so important that we channel as much energy into celebrating as we can. Will the year look a lot different? Of course. But it’s going to be back to normal in no time, and we can spend the next year making up for all the lost time.
A fun way to celebrate with family can be to plan out your next holiday vacation. It might help ease the sense of loss by looking forward.
Write letters to family, start new traditions, and find joy in all the little things.
At Rainbow Restaurant, we know the importance of family and togetherness, as well as keeping your loved ones safe. Order a delicious, healthy takeout meal to share with your loved ones today.